A teenager from Aylesbury has been arrested after an investigation into distraction burglaries where pensioners were the victims.
The 17-year-old boys, one of who is from Aylesbury, the other from Luton, were arrested on suspicion of burglary on 23 July.
The first offence occurred in Coleridge Crescent, Hemel Hempstead and the second offence happened in Coates Way, Watford.
Both boys have been released on conditional bail, which states they cannot enter Hemel Hempstead or Watford unless prior agreement has been given by police. They are due to appear before Hatfield Magistrates’ Court on 18 August.
It was reported that on 10 July the Hemel Hempstead victim, aged in her 70s, was approached by three young men who knocked on her door to say her friend had arranged for them to cut her grass.
The victim agreed to pay a fee for the work and left the address to retrieve the cash from an ATM, leaving the back door unlocked so the men could have access to the toilet.
She returned to the property and paid the men before they left. However later that evening she discovered that items of jewellery and cash had been stolen. She then called police who filed a report and began carrying out enquiries.
On 23 July, the victim called police again stating that some of the men who had previously carried out gardening work for her were back outside her address but she didn’t want to let them in.
Officers attended immediately and detained two men. On searching a van found at the location, officers discovered a cheque inside. They contacted the person who had signed it – a 91-year-old woman from Watford – and discovered that she had also been a victim of a distraction burglary in similar circumstances that same day.
She had been approached by a number of men who she had paid to carry out gardening work at her property. They had asked to use the toilet on a number of occasions and once they had left, the victim discovered that items had been disturbed in one of the upstairs bedrooms.
Hertfordshire Constabulary would like to remind the public to be mindful and remain vigilant around anyone who cold calls them on their doorstep and tells them they need work doing to their home or garden.
If you have vulnerable friends or neighbours, please ensure you share with them the crime prevention advice around rogue traders which can be found on our website here.
You can report information or suspicious activity online at www.herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in our Force Communications Room via online web chat here or call our non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 41/B2/18663/19.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report information online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org